Let's Talk About Intersex w/ Saifa Wall & Dani Coyle
PRIDE
PRIDE

Episode · 11 months ago

Let's Talk About Intersex w/ Saifa Wall & Dani Coyle

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Today, we’ll chat with Saifa Wall and Dani Coyle, two people who were born intersex. Saifa is a visual artist, public health researcher and the co-founder of the Intersex Justice Project. Dani is a trained graphic designer, INTERface project creator and is known online by her username @inter_sexy. In this episode they’ll open up about the variants of intersex, the conflicts that homophobia, heterosexism and transfobia have on this community and how we can bring change by advancing the conversation.

Be sure to follow Dani and Saifa on IG! Your host is Levi Chambers, co-founder of Gayety. Follow the show and keep up with the conversation @Pride. Want more great shows from Straw Hut Media? Check out or website at strawhutmedia.com. Your producers are Levi Chambers, Maggie Boles, Ryan Tillotson and Edited by Silvana Alcala Have an interesting LGBTQ+ story to share? We might feature U! Email us at lgbtq@strawhutmedia.com. *This podcast is not affiliated with Pride Media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Straw media. I mean, personally, I think the best thing about being intersects for me is kind of the purpose that is given me and also the community that I found through being intersect I personally feel like I've won a bit of a golden ticket, which is so interesting because I've managed to turn that completely around from feeling like, you know, why, woe is me, like why me? Why me, when I was a child, to now being, Oh my God, I literally won the lottery here, like this is the coolest thing, and it really I really do feel like we're not, like this is misleading, but I do feel like I'm one in a million, you know, and I think that feels really lovely. I feel like I want a golden ticket to, you know, the queer community, to all of my favorite people that I've ever met have I've met through doing activism or, you know, finding the community online, and they're the most beautiful, strong, incredibly, you know, resilient people that I've ever met. So that's one thing and I think it's just completely given, like I said, one direction to my life. So again, I can't even imagine just being like, quote unquote, normal, like I just think it's like so cool that we get to have these experiences that challenge us so much, but from that challenge, you know, create so much like beauty from a position, in a way. On October Twenty Six, one thousand nine hundred and ninety six, the first US public demonstration for intersects people took place at the annual conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Boston. Members of the Intersect Society of North America and their allies shared their pain in a very public way, denouncing non consensual infant genital surgeries and demanding the medical industry take notice. We now celebrate Intersects Awareness Day every October twenty six, followed by Intersects Day of solidarity on November eight. But even with two days of recognition, there's still a lot of stigma and misinformation surrounding intersects and what it really means. Today will chat with Sipha Wall and Danny Coyle, two people who were born intersects. CIFA is a visual artist, a public health researcher and CO founder of the intersects justice project. Danny is a trained graphic designer interface project creator and is known online by her username at Inter underscore sexy in this episode, they'll open up about the variance of intersects, the conflicts that homophobia, heterosexism and Transphobia have on this community and how we can bring in change by advancing the conversation. Hi, this is Danny Coyle, my name is Cipha and this is pride. Danny is a twenty five year old influencer from the small town of Swindon in southwest England. I found out that I was intersex officially, like I was sort of, I don't like the word diagnosed, but I can't really think of a better one. Like I found out from a medical professional my intersect variation when I was full teen. After keeping it a secret for nearly a decade. She came out in two thousand and nineteen as intersects. But what does it mean to be intersects? Well, for one thing, it's definitely not black and white. There are many variations of intersects. Some intersects people have genitals or internal sex organs that fall outside the male or female categories, such as a person born with both ovarian and testicular tissues. Other intersects people have combinations of chromosomes that are different than x y,...

...meaning male and x x, meaning female like Xx. Why? Some people are born with external genitals that fall into the typical male female categories, but their internal organs or hormones do not. Buying this cooled seventeen be to hydrogs, something, something, something very technical. Danny was told she had seventeen Beta hydroxy steroid dehydronosis three deficiency. This means she had male chromosomes, one x and one hy testicles, but very low testosterone levels. You know, people can tell their intersects. Other people never find out there in sex. Other people find out their insects when they don't get periods or if they can't have children yet. There's so many ways. But for me I sort of found out when I was, you know, going through puberty, and the kind of ten years that followed that were really difficult because, you know, I'm sure the people in my life kind of thought they were giving me care, but in fact every time that they were suggesting something, you know, to happen to my body, whether that would be surgically, hormonially, you know, all of that kind of thing laid on more and more layers of shame and stigma. You might think that since people are born intersects that they would be diagnosed as intersects at birth, but in some cases, like Danny's, the person doesn't find out until they hit puberty. So sort of I grew up presenting and, you know, being raised as a female, and then when I hit puberty I kind of went through a bit of a non binary puberty sort of. You know, things that weren't expected to happen to young girls were like weren't happening to me, and then, you know, other things, other crazy things. It was all a bit of a wild ride anyway. So that is kind of how I personally found out I was intersex. Being born intersex is not rare. In fact, Amnesty International reports that one point seven percent of the world's population are born with intersect rates. That's approximately the same percentage as the number of redheads in the world or the number of people with Green Eyes. It will say, equates to the amount of twins. So yeah, it really isn't rare at all. It's really interesting and there it is so many different variations and, like I said, you could be intersects and you'll just never known. There are only like certain traits that actually even only ever come to light. So yeah, it is really not read at all. Like Danny, our second guest, cipher, a Black Queer New Yorker from the Bronx, was also assigned female at birth by doctors. I feel like I was definitely a queer kid right. Definitely a queer kid, definitely like you know, people would say gender Queer Kid, and I think what makes sort of ties in with just sort of my intersect story is that I was happy in my body right, like I was rambunctious, like I would run around my shirt off, like I felt really good and at home in my body. And I have a particular variation, which is one of forty intersects, variations known as Andrews in the Sensitivity Syndrome. Androgen insensitivity syndrome, or AIS, is when a person who is genetically male, who has one X and one Y chromosome, is resistant to male hormones called Androgens. As a result, the person has some female physical traits but the genetic makeup of a man. I have two other siblings who have the same variation and they had not genital surgery, but their testicles were removed in in infancy and they were also assigned female as well. But my mom decided not to remove my testicles, which they referred to as Gonads, but instead she was just like, you know, I want my kid to, you know, develop on their own, and so I started developing as...

...male when I was like who probably like like eight nine. My voice dropped when I was eleven and I didn't really understand the changes that were happening as my body was masculinalizing, but I was okay with it. I also had like a lot of sort of growing pain as well, and when my mom took me to see a pediatrician at Columbia Presbyterian hospital, he made the recommendation that I have surgery. He told my mom that my gonads, that he referred to them as, were cancerous and that they had to be removed. So I was castrated and put on feminizing hormones which feminized my face and body, which for me at that time, cause a lot of body dysphoria, because I was okay, were well with the changes that were happening to my body, but these changes brought on by estrogen and progesterone, I didn't want. And I think for me that really informs my activism, because I feel that people should be able to make choices around what they do with their bodies. You know, I don't have any doubt that the people who were giving me care intended to do exactly that. But actually, a lot of the time, you know, when somebody's implying to change you, you kind of internalize that is okay. Well, something is wrong with me, something isn't right, I'm not you know, I'm not who I should be. I there's something wrong, essentially. So it was kind of crappy. For many, many, many, many, many years we covered the idea that intersects isn't black and white, but neither is gender. People believe that gender is binary and that there are only two opposite genders, but Danny says this is far from the truth. There is not just a hundred percent men and a hundred percent women. We all have like a different mix of testosterone estrogen like, and that's just like, you know, sort of sex hormones like. We're all so much more than that and you know, there's so much masculine qualities and feminine quality ties and Non Binary qualities in all of us, and it's just intersect people that are, you know, maybe not the forefront of this, but we're so much more visible, you know. And Yeah, I think that's just say much confusion about us, because people think that the binary is scientific fact when actually, as we all know, it's a social construct, and we just completely disprove that. And it kind of ruffles up a lot of feathers for anyone out there who's been sexually active and then have seen different bodies. Is that there's so much variation and bodies right, and I think what intersects teaches me, what Trans Identity teaches me, is that essentially there's so much variation in how our genders can be and how our sex could be, and I think we're limiting possibility when we actually physically and surgically shuffle people into one category or another. And also intersects is more common than we think. You know, we get box into one point seven percent of the human population. But how can we really know who has variations of sex characteristics, just like how can we actually know who is queer? How can we actually know who is trans or non binary or Gender Queer? We just don't know. We're just literally taking educated guesses, but sometimes our guesses are actually harming people more than they're helping people. Doctors told Danny that they could normalize her medical defect through surgery and hormone replacement therapy. If a child is born sort of with you know, I'mbiguous Genitalia a lot of the time. I mean that is the first question that makes parents and doctors. Would you...

...know, is it a boy or a girl? And if you know it isn't clear, doctors can often recommend surgery to surgically alter their parents to make it more visibly clear whether to raise the child as a boy as a girl. Now again, like I think you know, in theory this is, you know, for care, because then you wouldn't get, you know, bullied or you'd know where you sat or did it a but in fact it can just cause so much more harm than good, especially if that child then grows up to not identify with the gender that the doctors assumed they were at birth, which is what happened with cipher when he had his testicles removed. It thirteen. He didn't have the opportunity to give informed concern and issue many intersects people face, I feel like, for parents. I'm not a parent, so I don't know what it is to go through the birthing process, to have children to raise children. So I don't want to speak from that perspective at all, but what I will say is that I feel like from the parents that I have spoken to, it does create this emergency situation if a doctor presents to the parent that your child is not normal. Right like I think the language of providers is around when it comes to intersex variations is about pathology, is about abnormality, it's about not not being like other boys and girls and of course it's going to create a lot of fear and panic and in expecting parents and parents who are new parents, even parents who have had many children, and if those same parents have existing biases, it definitely creates a space where surgery is the only option. I think one surgeon is quoted as saying if a boy, if an assigned male child, cannot be standing up, that he won't understand himself as a boy or that children with intersect variations of be bullied in school. It's a lot of prophesizing that reinforces the gender binary, but it also reinforces Heterosexism, the sort of looming fear that someone would be gay right, that someone would be trans, and I think that's what really secretly motivates a lot of these surgeries right to to create, like, quote, men and women, to create heterosexual men and women. I think a lot of the medicine around intersects people is like predicated on heterosexuality. SIPA says he turned down another surgery a year later because of how inhumane the procedures they were offering were described. It is a multi step process and it involves different practitioners. You know, we have pediatricians, we have endochronologists, we have your ologist. Your ologists are the ones who do the surgeries and the chronologists often work with people who have intersects variations. So the one who made the recommendation for surgery was a pediatric end of chronologist. He's no longer living. His name was Dr Akiramurashima. My surgeon, Doctor Hensel, he his he was literally about doing the surgery. But what made it problematic and what I actually shared with him that wasn't caught on camera or wasn't documented on camera, was that it wasn't too long after I was castrated that I went for a consultation for genital surgery with my mother. I must have been I think I was fourteen at the time and essentially I remember it like it was yesterday. We were in his office, it was me and my...

...mom. She was seated to the right of me, he was seated across the table, across the desk, and I have a physical memory of him saying he's like, you know, he did an examination first, and then he said that, well, what I'm going to do is that I'm going to shave down a clitteris and I'm going to create a cavity inside of you. Again, he said, I'm going to shave down a clitterist and create a cavity inside of you, as if I wasn't human, as if I didn't exist. And although I had no longer identify as a woman or female, I was a fourteen year old girl who didn't know what was happening to my body, and for a grown man, a grown SIS gender white man, to say that to me as a girl was horrible, and my mom must have seen the look on my face, which was probably one of just wanting to vomit. She looked over at me and she asked, she was like, do you want to go through with this, and I was like no, and that was just one moment that spared me from genital surgery because I didn't know, like you know, even though I didn't one hundred percent feel like a girl. You know, I was just like, well, this is what you should do if you want to be a girl. So I can see why people would make the decision for a surgery because it's so hinged on normality, but I think for me it was just that one decision. So when I was able to confront him years later, I told him that and he didn't have anything to say, but he was very steeped, still steeped in his opinion that he shared with me. He was like, if I would have seen you as a baby, knowing would I know now, I would have made you a boy and I would have done surgery to create a penis. And I was just like, you're not getting it, you're not getting it, like you can assign a gender without doing surgery. It's a complete you know, head to the kind of messaging that the state gives out in terms of trans care, because they're completely anti hat letting you know anyone under the age of eighteen. You know, socially or medically, surgically, hormonially transition, while with insect people they're forcing them to essentially transition as young as days old. So actually it's the hypocrisy and you know, it's just shocking. Danny says, informed consent goes beyond knowing the full extent of the surgery procedures. It's also about intersex education and breaking hero normativity. Like I know they were trying to do the best that they could, but again, it isn't just individual doctors that see issue, it's the whole system. So if these doctors are learning to be doctors underneath the broken system, of course the doctors were producing also going to think like these people are scientists and they believe that the gender binary is science fact, and I think that's where a lot of the issues lies, because until I was about twenty one, I had never spoke to or met another intersect person. I'd never even met a trans person. I barely met any queer people. So how can you properly give someone care when they don't have informed consent of the whole spectrum of the human condition? Of course, as a fourteen year old, when they asked me, do you want to be a boy or as a girl, and I'd always thought I was a girl and I was already so traumatized by having all of these changes happened to me. Of course the first answer was, I'm a girl. How could you even ask me that? I was embarrassed that anyone could a ask me. I didn't want to be associated...

...with Trans people because, like, obviously, when I was younger I did not see myself as trands because I had been born and grew up as a female and identified as female. So then suddenly, when somebody was asking am I trans, I found that extremely offensive because I had not had the education that I now have and because there wasn't that kind of like representation in the media. And you know, Trans and intersects people are often the butt of the joke. So when I, you know, sort of grown up as normal and then suddenly I hit the most difficult years in any kind of young person's life, for doctors to kind up to me and say like, so, are you straight or are you gay? Obviously I'm straight. I'm normal. Are you a boy or a girl? I'm a girl, I'm not trans, like I'm normal. So and I just think obviously we have to take into account the kind of situations we're giving that care into pushing the idea of abnormality on a kid can be understandably traumatizing, especially when the kid knows not thing about the Lgbtq community and is now convinced there is something wrong with them. And I think that's the issue, because people try, you know, they offer the surgeries in the hormones, but then they don't think about the repercussions mentally of what they're saying to young people. And it's even worse, maybe with babies, because sometimes they're not even then told they've had these surgeries. So they grow up maybe forever feeling like if, you know, there's something wrong with them whatever, and then they find out, when they're finally old enough to get their medical records, they find out, oh, I was intersect and I was operated on five times when I was a child and nobody told me this, you know, and it's just like, what is happening, and how is it not clear that we need to how is it, how is this kind of reform that we need not clear to everyone? It just boggles me really. But Cipher says there is hope for change, especially as access to education and media on identities like transgender and non binary become more universally available. I feel like at one's time, even though Trans people have existed for Millennia, it was something that was so stigmatized and so push to the marsins. It's not to say that some trans communities are still not put to the margins, but there's the sort of access and the proliferation of Trans People, of non binary people in media, in positions of leadership, in positions of power, that parents literally don't have to be confined, and if they're confined, they're confined by their own bias. And I feel like with the growth of social media, in the the widespread availability of the Internet, I feel like people can find our stories right. People can find there are so many intersects, content creators who are actually out here waiting, waiting for people to listen right, and I think it's just a matter of when parents actually find our stories, whether it be on instagram or youtube or any outlet, they're moved, they're moved, they're deeply moved and in if they've made these decisions, they're impacted right, which is why I believe wholeheartedly that this culture of genital surgery that happens to intersect children, that it harms everyone. It's the humanizes the patient, is to humanizes the parents and it also to humanizes the doctors. So I feel like, yeah, this possibility, this possibility out there. When we come back, how CIFA and Danny are drawing from their own experiences to advocate for Intersex education and to end harmful genital surgery on children. Welcome back. Before the break, we spoke with...

Danny and Cipa to intersects activists on what being intersects means and how heteronormativity and uninformed consent can cause lifelong issues for this community. This is why both Danny and CIFA are advocating for intersext education and fighting against childhood nonconsensual genital surgeries. I was very fortunate to be chosen as a Marie Scladosa cury fellow. This is a first time, I believe, that the European Commission has funded the Marie cury fellows in the social sciences. Usually they're in the hard sciences, and this particular fellowship is called intersects. New Interdisciplinary approaches. Fellowship or India has funded ten research posts across five European countries looking at different aspects of intersects, rights and experiences. My particular project is sort of looking at equality, diversity and policy making and the Republic of Ireland and England I'm choosing to really focus on social work and how social workers can really challenge medical authority. I get, you know, it gets really complicated it because I think social workers are they work really hard, they're burnt out, there's definitely limitations. They're definitely employed many times by the state and private spaces and private entities. But I think for me this work is really about taking a multi prong approach to liberation because the field of intersects organizing and like the intersects movement, there's so many ways for people to enter. So I felt also co founded the intersect justice project in two thousand and sixteen alongside fellow activist Linnell, Stephanie Long and pigeon pagonist. It was founded in order to create a space for intersect people of Color to advance change in the intersects movement. Are Our first campaign, which is the campaign is ending intersect surgery and you know, Ip seeks the end of harmful genital normalizing surgeries on intersect children and young adults and mobilizers and supports intersects people of color to advance that change. One of the one of the most momentous parts of the campaign was the three year campaign against lurry children's Hospital in Chicago. That and that resulted. Now, mind you, the LURRY decision was the result of years of organizing by by Trans Communities, allies, people, many who are in Chicago, who really supported IJP in our effort to get Lori to change, and that resulted in a decision, one in apology. That was issue to intersects people who have been harmed at Larry Children's hospital, as well as a moratorium. It was a six month moratorium on surgeries for intersect people, with an exception for children with contenital adrenal hyperplasia. I think the surgery stop for patients with the AH as well. But now there is a scheduled a symposium that supposed to take place either virtually or in person in two thousand and twenty two to actually discuss and debate sort of...

...whether Lori should offer these surgeries to see ah children, particularly those children who are assigned as girls. My position is always no surgery, but this is going to be interesting. This is going to be interesting. So the lorry work doesn't stop just at their decision. When Danny decided to come out in two thousand and nineteen, she knew she wanted to stop feeling like intersects was to taboo of a topic. So she created a platform where people could talk about it and meet others and feel like they belonged. So she became intersexy on Instagram and she started her project interface, but portrait series to showcase the Intersex community. Basically just gives me the excuse to meet up with other intersects people and take their beautiful portraits and sort of hear their stories, and this is kind of why I started that project, is so that I could, you know, pay more about my community really because, again, we don't often have the excuse to meet up, so this gave me a really good excuse to meet up with them. I'm also the process of recording my own podcast, where again it's kind of an extension of the photo series to kind of give literally other intersect people a chance to, you know, show their voice. I know I'm very privileged in having a bit of a platform and you know, I'm not like the only intersect person on the planet and I also have many privileges which intersects intersect with my intersects, very tongue twisting identity. So there are so many other intersects people, you know, like I said, that have completely different experience to me. So hopefully that is what that photo series and podcast series will will show. But at the moment dany is taking a step back from her activism. I feel like there is so much, you know, white noise, especially with digital usual an online activism. And if I'm honest, I don't feel that educated about this kind of thing because, again, I am intersects, but because of like, even as an intersex person, I don't know much about being intersex and that shocking. You know, I think this is kind of now for me, Danny will be attending arks for a university to get her master's degree in Gender Studies. When I came out it was really amazing because I got to talk about this thing that I was so ashamed about for so long. So just talking about my personal experience was extremely rewarding. But you know, after, you know, the third year of doing that and kind of like wait, what am I adding to this conversation? Like what I am I actually changing in the real world? So yeah, this is kind of the plan. So I'm going to take that kind of year out to really contextualize my own experience and hopefully come away as a stronger, you know, not only activist, but also ally and person, and sort of understand my own experience and where it sits within the wider history of not just intersex history but also queer history as a whole. I absolutely love it when people sort of DM me on instagram or send me an email and they say, you know, my child has just we've just found out my childs insects. Like it's so refreshing to sort of see you living as an out intersex person and, you know, thriving. And I think the first and foremost we need to have yet intersect people involved in in sex care so that people who then find out their intersects aren't so afraid that this is going to be the end of their life, you know, that they're never going to find a partner, that they're never going to be able to, you know, be themselves, that they're never going to be able to, you know, be open and honest with the people in their lives because you a hundred percent can. I really want people to get very curious about themselves, because I think often we siloh intersects issues right, you know, people learn about it and they're like Oh wow,...

...they're like I just heard it in a sex person talk or I follow this in a sex person on tick tag or instagram. But I really want people to get curious about their own bodies because I think by people getting curious about their own bodies it is sort of begs the question what becomes possible. So I think that's number one. I think number two is just, you know, more visibility. I personally find the intersects and experience like inherently queer. I relate a lot to trans people and the Trans Experience. But there are a lot of different ways to be intersects. There are a lot of SIP siss people that are intersects. There's a lot of SIS straight, you know, women, men. So just again to reiterate, not all intersects people are Queer or identify with the quick community or with the Trans Experience at all. But just for me personally, I think there needs to be more intersects and Trans Representation because they go so hand in hand. I think both of our causes really lift the other up up and I think that's really beautiful. And just worldwide again, just more education, like in younger schools, because if inclusive queer education had been included in my sort of primary schools, as I don't know what that is in the states, but you know, from ages maybe like five to ten, this this could have been spotted so much earlier, you know, and any of the medical complications that I had could have been avoided and, you know, there would essentially giving more choice to the individual. And but obviously this is talking about my personal experience as somebody who found out when they were like fourteen, fifteen, because there were so many signs and they were completely missed because there is so little education, like the doctors even like miss now, looking back on my oh my goodness, if I had known this, this would have been the first thing, you know, if I was a doctor and I had all this education that I now have about being insects, there's no way in hello would have missed this because it's such clear pointing signs. But you know, I went to several, several, several doctors about, you know, stomach cramps, not getting a period, different things, different things, and it was never spotted and it's just crazy to me that that even happened. Cipher says extending education in schools could be a part of the solution, but there are many obstacles that need to be addressed. I feel like I spoke with our medical student recently who is revamping some curriculum. This person has hands UCLA and we're talking and they were saying that the curriculum at Ucla in the medical school literally change twenty years ago and the curriculum is still taught by white men in their s and s. So even if the curriculum changes, the people who are teaching about this change, that's not changing. I feel like a lot of the prevailing attitudes is shifting slowly, but many of the attitudes in particularly with regard to people with sex variations, is still steeped in S. is still steeped in this sort of that a child can be surgically changed and that through nurture, the nature nurture debate, through nurture, through gender socialization, that they will adapt to that gender and it's not true. I'm proof of that. Many of us are proof of that, and so I think when I say the S, I mean these very rigid gender roles of like male and female, man and woman. That still say with us today. Right. Many of the like the surgeries. It's really for children who assigned female. It's about preserving fertility, regardless of how that child may identify when they get older. It's about engaging and penetrated aginal sex. For Boys it's about peeing standing up,...

...it's about penetrating a vagina. There's so many assumptions that are made around gender and sexual orientation. So I think this is an issue that Queer folks should get behind, for LGBT folks to get behind, because what intersects people are experiencing is not just enserphobia, right, but it's also homophobia, transphobia and Heterosexism. I think the common misconceptions that I would like to clear up or address is that I think there's often a conflation of transit intersects. Whenever I tell people that I'm intersects, people are like, Oh, what's that, or they think I'm like super sex positive, you know, because they're like, Oh, you're enter into sex and it's not really an understanding of like intersect people or intersect experiences. And I think something that has often come up in the intersects community is the feeling of the eyes sort of being added on and you know, I would really like people, especially in a queer community, folks who are listening, is that. I really would like people, if you want to be intersects inclusive in your work, in your organization, actually engage intersect people and let it not just be a onetime event but actually like ongoing, because I think our lies are not just confined to our young adulthood or infancy or our surgery. Like I think intersect eyes are very expensive and I think it requires two people to really get curious, really get curious, really educate themselves, because I think that's how we're going to advance this change. And then, of course, the stock to the nonconsensual intersect surgeries which I think in many countries, or maybe not countries, but sort of like individual hospitals, and then maybe in some countries they're trying to ban them. But then there are also, of course, many loopholes, because you know the one. Of course, if it's to save a child's life, completely fine, but then there are doctors and parents that find loopholes to get their children to have the surgeries, even if it isn't life threatening. But you know, there's so many loopholes that you can end up then harming a child. And again it's so difficult to manage when it's sort of step state sanctioned violence, because you can't go to the police and you can't go to the doctors and you can't, you know, go to the government, because they're the ones that are inflicting the harm. SIPHER stress that the health concerns go beyond infant surgeries. I mean they're people who have intersects variations who haven't had surgery one, but also when people have had surgeries. This is a healthcare issue that affects the life of the individual. For me personally, using myself as an example, having been castrated at thirteen, was placed on feminizing hormones that cause a lot of body dysphoria and then sort of like developing Osteopenia, which is like, sort of like a precursors to osteoporosis, like, I don't know, somewhere my late S, early S. and I've talked to different folks who have different variations and many have expressed like having, you know, brittle bones, having issues with, you know, if they've had surgery, having issues with scarring, having lots of sensation other sort of...

...healthcare issues. If you know, for people who who are assigned male and who may have breast tissue, the issue of like breast cancer or mammograms, right, but not being able to get mamograms because people were like, Oh, you're a man, why are you in this space? Right? They're different health issues that people, that people with sexparrations ex varience, that are literally being ignored and not treated. So, you know, for me I really want to look at this as like holistic affirming a tuned health care for the life of the individual. October twenty six is intersects awareness day and Intersect Day of solidarity is on November eight. It's a huge deal that this community is being celebrated, but there's something to be said about how little attention they receive. What more we can be doing to raise awareness on these days and every day? I think this is such an important point because still to this day, I feel so often let down by the queer community, which is really heartbreaking to say because, like I've said many times before, you know, you go to gay pride, you go to Trans Pride, there is thousands and thousands of people marching alongside you and then it comes to the twenty six of October and I would be hard pressed to find, you know, a march or rally anything like we did a couple for the last couple of years in Berlin and you know, God bless the people that you know turned up, but we're we're maybe pushing thirty if we're lucky, and it's just heartbreaking because we turn up for everyone else, you know, and I feel like because we are some of the most marginalized and eraised and, you know, for wotten people within the acronym. Yeah, we are kind of just forgotten and it is really heartbreaking because even you know, okay, maybe a march is quite a lot of work for someone, if I'm being like completely understanding. But then even you know, when we're talking about, you know, non Binary Trans Rights in the media, where often left out of those conversations as well. You know it it often goes as a pair trans and nonbinary people, and it takes so little work to just include the intersects. And you know, you could argue that many insects people identify as trans or nonbinary, so they're covered within that umbrella. But no, I spent so long looking for that you know sign or the word intersects to make me like explicitly aware that I was included in this conversation. And still to this day, even within friends allies, we're like, you know, it doesn't happen. So I think that is a hunt that I hope on intersectswhenest day, is a point that people really take on board, because I think a lot of the time people don't want to, you know, and I get it, like if you're fighting the good fight, you don't want to confuse people even more. You know, if you're already talking about Trans Rights and nonbinary, people have just come to terms with both these things, you don't want to throw a very intersect size spanner into the mix. But that just says to us, you know, you're you're part of that erasure if you don't include us now. And Yeah, I think that is what I'm asking from allies this year, like every yet you know, it's just that inclusion, like we're not just the eye at the end, we're not just the plus on the end. We need to be explicitly included within conversations about, you know, non binary, Trans and insects. Right, if you were to give one piece of advice to. Maybe it's yourself when you found out your intersects or so one thing to any kid who's in a similar position to your...

...own. Even if maybe they don't, they just feel like that could be at or that there's just something. What would you tell that adolescent kid who's going through what you went through? Yeah, this is so cheesy, but it's just the truth, like just absolutely like there's nothing wrong with you, essentially, and you know, don't be afraid to look outside your immediate circle for inspiration on how to live your life. You know that. I love that saying. You can only become what you can see, or you can only be what you can see. I can't remember what it is exactly, but it is that is just a truth. Like if you can't see Queer people, Trans People, insects, people thriving, you can never understand that that could also be you, you know. So I think that is what I want to say to you, if you're listening to this, is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. If the people around you are making you feel that way, there, then you know that is just not the environment that you need to be in and that is completely their issue and not yours and there are so many of us out here, like it's honestly insane. I remember when I first met my intersects person, I was just, you know, it was so traumatic for so many for so many years, and I'd meet someone in it would just be a mess. I'd be crying and they'd be so put together. I'm like, how are you not? How is this not, you know, this huge healing experience? And they're like, honey, I've met like three hundred intersex people, like you're not my first. I'm like, Oh my God, there's that many out there. I didn't even know there was this money in the world, you know, and I'd be there, Mascara down my face like why is this not a big deal for you? So, yeah, I would just say there's so many of us out here and just find us, you know, if you're an if you're young, if you're too young to leave home, you know, just hold tight, keep your head high and do your best, because it just like gets better and you know you can. You can come find us soon. So that's what I would say. And with the Internet it's so easy. It's so much easier. I wouldn't say it's still easy, but it's so much easier to find your community. So yeah, just look outside your immediate area and you're loved and you're cool and I can't wait to meet you. So where can you connect with Danny? And so far, so on the Internet. I am. I think I'm kind of only on instagram. I'm if I'm honest, I don't really understand twitter or facebook anymore. But yeah, I'm on Instagram at Inter underschool sexy and yeah, my email is also on there. If anybody's listening wants to get in touch have a chat, feel free. And Yeah, that's kind of where I'm at. I am. So I'm willing to work with anyone IDP who wants to advance change. Intersects Justice Project can be found on instagram as well as online and people are welcome to connect with me. I'm also on instagram cipher emerges. But yeah, and I will still be continuing to do the India projects here in England. And Yeah, if people will want to collaborate on research, if people want to collaborate on advocacy, curriculum, development organizing, please, please, please, reach out. Pride is a production of Straw hut media. If you like the show, leave us a rating and a review on Apple, podcast, spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Then follow us on Instagram, facebook and twitter at pride and tune in weekly for new episodes. Be Sure to share this episode with your friends and subscribe for more stories from Amazing Queer people. If you'd like to connect with me, you can follow me everywhere at me by chambers. Pride is produced by me Lea by chambers, Maggie Bulls, Ryan Tillotson, Caitlin mcdaniel and Brandon Hella,...

...edited by Silvana I'll Colla and Daniel Ferreira. Sound mixing by Silvana I'll colla. I know you said you feel like you're one in a million, but it's really more like one in a thousand. Yeah, yeah, exactly, one point seven percent. But then I just want to point out that, okay, one point seven percent, but my variation is rare a bitch. So I have won the lottery. Like, do not try and like I want to live my experience. please. Thank you. I.

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